Is The LAX In-N-Out Really The Busiest Restaurant In The World?

Hollywood legend and Oscar-winning actor, Tom Hanks, can't get enough of In-N-Out's famous burgers. You'd think he had a sponsorship deal with the popular fast food chain based on how many times he's gushed over its food in past interviews. On "The Tonight Show," Hanks expressed to Conan O'Brien that the California-based burger joint is "one of the true great things about Los Angeles" (via Discover Los Angeles). And there have even been whispers that he was almost late to the Oscars once as he waited on his order In-N-Out order. We feel you, Tom. 

Hanks sat down with chef Josh Scherer of the YouTube series "Mythical Kitchen" fame to chow down on a tasty-looking Double Double and talk food. "The busiest restaurant in the world, I've read, is the LAX In-N-Out Burger," the actor recalled in a TikTok segment, before adding that it's the first stop hungry travelers love to make after a long flight. "And I will tell you, 24 hours a day, that drive-thru line is a quarter mile." While his logic makes sense, we were intrigued by the claim and wondered: Is the LAX In-N-Out really the world's busiest restaurant?


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♬ original sound – Mythical Kitchen – Mythical Kitchen

A clear victor is tough to pinpoint

It's difficult to nail down a clear-cut definition for what makes one restaurant busier than the next. Monthly profits, amount of customers, and the total number of burgers stacked and slung across the counter each day could all factor into this. Revenue-wise, the busiest eatery in the United States has been claimed by many to be Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café at Walt Disney World. No surprise there, since Magic Kingdom reportedly sees around 57,000 visitors every day. 

If we're talking about the busiest fast food chain in the entire world, McDonald's still reigns supreme. Even with over 300 locations and counting, the In-N-Out franchise is still just a tiny blip on McDonald's radar. The Golden Arches have a staggering 44,000 restaurants around the world.

While we can't say Tom Hanks' claim is true, we won't deny that In-N-Outs are often very busy, sometimes employing security guards to control crowds. There are two In-N-Out locations near the LAX airport, both walkable at approximately 1 mile and 1.5 miles respectively — and we'd imagine both stay busy. Planes flying closely overhead also make it a pretty sweet, Instagram-worthy location for dinner with a view. Hanks and Josh Sherer agreed that In-N-Out's crowds are there for good reason: This fast food haven has "the best mass-produced" burger.